Plano, Texas police arrested three Colombian nationals suspected for a burglary ring targeting South Asian residences in Plano and the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
Those arrested include Jose Gonzalez, Libardo Soto and Melba Gaitan, who police believe are responsible for eight cases of burglary in Plano and seven in the DFW metroplex in 2022, ABC 8 WFAA reported.
“They were having the doors forced open of these apartments,” Plano police officer Andrae Smith told WFAA.
Fox 4 KDFW reported that the suspects broke into over a dozen homes in Plano and other North Texan communities where jewelry or gold was stolen.
Police expanded their search for the suspects to Texas, Georgia, North Carolina and Florida and found similar methods of forced entry in South Asian residences, according to Fox 4 KDFW.
Dinesh Hooda of the Indian Association of North Texas told ABC 8 WFAA he’s happy to hear the news of the arrests on Tuesday.
“They were specifically targeting the Indian community because they see we wear lots of jewelry, are wealthy people and keep a lot of cash,” Hooda said.
Plano previously experienced instances of burglaries involving Colombian immigrants burglarizing Asian residences.
According to ABC 8 WFAA, community members discussed how to break certain stereotypes and cultural perceptions of South Asians, as well as being more aware of their surroundings.
“We definitely need to be secure, be safe, and protecting their property,” Hooda said.
Happy Lunar New Year! Time is running out to support our Lunar New Year Fundraising Drive through this link. The campaign ends Sunday. AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. We are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.